The Saudi Ports Authority (SPA) has signed contracts worth SR 1.6 billion ($427 million) for construction and development projects in various seaports in Saudi Arabia during the current year.
The projects include construction of a power plant at the King Abdul Aziz port in Dammam, a container wharf at the Dhuba port, two container wharves in the King Fahd industrial port in Yanbu, and a passenger and services wharf at the Yanbu commercial port besides a huge multistorey car park at the Jeddah Islamic port.
The contracts also include preparation of master plans for the Dammam King Abdul Aziz port and commercial ports in Jubail, Jazan, Dhuba and Yanbu.
The SPA also offers investment opportunities to the private sector in sea ports such as the operation of container terminals, dry docks and the building of ships, barges, sea platforms and the manufacture of fishing and pleasure boats and support services including running commercial markets, restaurants, post offices and tourist and visitor services, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Established in 1976, SPA undertakes development and administration of the Kingdom's seaports. It has nine major seaports with 206 wharves from which 95 percent of the Kingdom's non-oil exports are undertaken.
The government has spent more than SR 40 billion ($10.666 billion) for the infrastructure and expansion of ports with the most advanced technology in the past few years.
Saudi ports were opened to private-sector participation in administrative and operational areas in 1997. The private-sector, which invested SR 5.5 billion ($1.467 billion)billion to install the most modern machinery and services, were allowed to hire wharves and other facilities on long-term leases.
by RTT Staff Writer
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